Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Thursday, 30 October 2008

I referred to it earlier, but haven’t elaborated on it (at least on here) but I did land a job earlier this month after spending a month re-adjusting to Vancouver. I waited to look for an apartment until after I started working so I could find somewhere that wasn’t a huge PITA to commute. I had a 15km radius in mind so as to reduce my auto insurance footprint as ICBC has a “15 km or less” category.

As I did before, whenever I refer to work, I’m only going to refer to it in a general sense without any specifics or names (to protect the innocent… and compared to me, everyone is an innocent!)  People who know me well or know me through other social networking sites will be able to figure it out pretty easily but people who end up here randomly or from a search engine, I’ll still be somewhat anonymous. There’s no HR policy on blogging in the Employee Handbook, and I don’t want to force them to make one.

At my previous job, we deployed a small-scale SharePoint Portal 2007 site. Those of you who are familiar with SharePoint are probably laughing right now but seriously, it was a small deployment with one site and only a few pages. At least it was when I left!

When I took an Exchange 2007 course in December of 2007, the instructor referred to SharePoint as a cancer. It starts off small… one site, a little collaboration but as people start using it and hearing and reading about some of the things it can do, then the feature requests start coming in and the sprawl begins. Before you know it, you have an entire datacenter just to support SharePoint.

That portal we set up was mostly about a KPI dashboard for the Board of Directors. We had a specialist from Toronto fly down for a few weeks and help us set it up and do some custom coding to draw specific data from our SQL databases (Mo Paul represent!)

At my new job there was already a SharePoint portal in place. In fact it there were a couple. There was a SharePoint Services 2.0 portal up and running using an Access database as it’s backend and some serious line of business applications custom-written to run on it. There was a SharePoint 3.0 portal running that we are slowly migrating to that was SQL Express based but each of those line-of-business applications had to be re-written to run from SQL instead of Access and because they were so intertwined, we couldn’t migrate them one at a time, but rather all at once so it became a pretty gigantic project.

There were also some other sites and a document management system in place that was running either WSS 2.0 or a custom application that those authors wanted integrated into SharePoint as well.

All of this required me to get up to speed on SharePoint pretty quickly. In the past, my experience with SharePoint was “it’s a cancer upon my network, growing uncontrollably and sucking up all my resources.” I referred to it to my brother as “the ominous black cloud on the horizon of IT and developers” and went so far as to quote Colonel Kurtz “Horrors” soliloquy to a friend via IM who then remarked that “being this far north is affecting my mind”

I’ll probably start posting more stuff about SharePoint as I learn it and cross-post it to the IT Team Blog I set up in SharePoint (See? the sprawl is starting already!) to help document my descent into madness.

Thursday, 30 October 2008 09:00:49 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Microsoft | SharePoint#
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